2002, canvas, relief pastes, acrylic, 195x150 cm. Private collection, Moscow

CARTHAGE_author Boris Laurentiev

The pomegranate is broken and the red cohort of ruby grains is shining. The feasts in Hamilcar’s gardens, night in the invisible cypariss crowns, torchs above the table and the sea somewhere down, grapes and baked antilopes, the black slave is cutting the meat and the concubine with a deep navel is pouring wine and looking to her master’s eyes. The nighttime city is down, grain cleaners and biremes are sleeping in the galley harbour where just a lighthouse twinkles. The great city is sleeping and fornicating...

But neither women plaits cut for the catapults nor walls could help to save Rome! Scipio, called the Serpent, was sitting on the stone and watching the legion forming three ranks. "Furthermore, I think Carthage must be destroyed!" - the old Cato has been in his grave for a long time, rather his ashes has been in the urn under the Appian valley, and after two thousand years I learned these words being a young boy - just because they sounded beautiful: "Ceterum censeo Carthaginem delendam esse..."

The first rank was cutting down the vines, the second was kneading them on the ground, and the third was scattering salt out of the shields - so that nothing could grow on this place anymore. The dust accumulated, the bulls were put into yoke and as a sign of curse the furrow was built right over the place of the city. It is said that Scipio cried saying that the same thing would happen to Rome - perhaps. All the ruins look alike for us.

I was passing over the grey sand, standing amidst stones, broken acroterions and Roman columns - it is hard to understand where the Carthage Senat, palaces and elefant stables used to be, only seashells are under the feet and the sea sparkles far away. It is hard to beleive - but everything really existed!

Acrylic, canvas and the relief pastes brought back some things I’ve seen so many times - broken pommegranate, ruby grains shining with the primordial strengh, juice pouring over the hand, and - Ave, Carthaginem!